Olly Murphy: The views on my three weekend runners at Cheltenham
The new National Hunt season cranks up a gear on Friday with Cheltenham commencing their two-day meeting, and here with his views on his three weekend runners is Betfair Ambassador Olly Murphy...
"I think the undulations of Cheltenham and the stiff 3 miles will play to his strengths and really suit him. This will be his third run for me and there should be improvement to come."
- Olly Murphy on Perfect Man
Fit and ready to do himself justice
16:20 - Thomas Darby
I highlighted Thomas Darby as one of my 'Five to Follow' for the season and he is a horse which really excites me. His bumper win in Huntingdon last May has worked out reasonably well with the runner-up and fourth placed horse subsequently winning and the son of Beneficial has thrived for the magnificent summer we have had here in Warren Chase.
Being a once raced five-year-old he obviously lacks experience but we have schooled him plenty on both grass and all weather and he has improved and impressed with every session. As you would expect for the track it's a competitive affair but our guy is fit and ready to give a very good account of himself. I won't risk him on quick going though, so hopefully there will be no sting in the ground.
Fit and tough, and ground will suit
15:45 - Angel Of Harlem
Angel of Harlem is an improving mare who has been a model of consistency - she has never been out of the first three in six races - since joining us from Mark Bradstock's yard. On her most recent run she finished second in Southwell. That was her first attempt at 3 miles and she did enough that day to suggest a run in this Pertemps series qualifier was justified. She never stops trying and as a daughter of Presenting she will appreciate a sound surface. She has been on the go since July so fitness won't be an issue but it's hard to weigh up the opposition in these qualifiers.
Strong each-way claims with fitness assured
15:45 - Perfect Man
I didn't feel Perfect Man was seen to best effect in Newton Abbot when he was third in a competitive handicap hurdle. The winner and runner-up have subsequently shown the form in good light - he was giving them 5lbs and 10lbs respectively - so that's not too shabby and I think the undulations of Cheltenham and the stiff 3 miles will play to his strengths and really suit him. This will be his third run for me and there should be improvement to come. With fitness on his side I think he has a really sound each way chance.
Best Chance: I like Perfect Man but provided the ground is okay I think Thomas Darby will go well. I can't wait to get him going this weekend and he probably represents our best chance of a winner.